Fitmodo: How Safe Is Your Fitness Tracker Data?

Welcome to Fitmodo, your regular weekly round up of the news you need to know to keep your earthly form in top shape -- from fitness advice to breakthroughs in medical research.

This week:

The Scientific Push To Declassify Transgender As A Mental Disorder

The first field trial to evaluate a proposed change to remove the diagnosis of transgender from its current classification as a mental disorder within the WHO International Classification of Diseases has been conducted.

The research involved interviewing 250 transgender people, and found that distress and dysfunction were more strongly predicted by experiences of social rejection and violence than by gender incongruence itself.


Why You Should Always Put Your Oxygen Mask On First

“I don’t want to die.” That’s what Destin from Smarter Every Day says as his oxygen level drops dangerously low and yet he’s completely unable to put his oxygen mask back on to save himself because his brain isn’t functioning properly.

Destin went to NASA to test what it’s like to be inside a depressurised cabin in an aeroplane (that’s when the oxygen masks drop down) to find out why you have to put your mask on first. The video of his experience is both fascinating and frightening. As the oxygen saturation levels in his body drops, he begins to experience hypoxia, and you can see how basic human functions (like say, the will to live) just completely stop working. In a matter of minutes, a normal, rational person devolves into someone who can’t recognise shapes, someone who can’t move his hands, and someone who can’t save himself.


The Downside To Fitness Tracking: Concerns About Health Data Privatisation

For all the potential benefits, the incorporation of people’s health data into algorithmic “black boxes” could harm science and exacerbate inequalities, warn some researchers.

“When it comes to control over our own data, health data must be where we draw the line,” John Wilbanks and Eric Topol stress.


Clones Age Normally, So Relax

It’s been 20 years since the birth of Dolly the Sheep, the first mammal to be cloned from an adult. Because Dolly died prematurely, scientists have worried that cloning accelerates the ageing process. But a new analysis of 13 cloned sheep — including a batch of Dolly’s genetic duplicates — shows that this isn’t the case.

In a study published in Nature Communications, researchers from the University of Nottingham have shown that 13 cloned sheep, four of which were genetic duplicates of Dolly, have reached an advanced age in good health. It’s the strongest evidence yet that large cloned animals age normally. This is an important result given that many animals are now being cloned on a regular basis — and that humans may eventually be produced with the technique.


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